Before he became the charismatic “America’s Got Talent” host, Terry Crews had a challenging time making the jump to entertainment after his time in the NFL.
As the emcee of Saturday night’s Chrysalis Butterfly Ball, Crews opened up about the money troubles he and his wife faced until he was able to break into the industry.
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“After retiring from the NFL, I struggled to get to the next level where I wanted to be. I tried and failed many times to secure a job in entertainment, but there was no luck. And then my wife’s wedding ring took its fourth trip to the pawn shop. When that happened, she told me maybe it’s time you widen the search and do anything that could genuinely put food on the table,” the actor revealed.
The experience inspired him to search for a new job and soon after, he came across a temp agency seeking those interested in manual labor jobs.
“After spending the previous night searching the couch cushions for change, I made the humbling decision to go in and register to be placed as a temp somewhere, anywhere,” Crews shared. “The temp agency sent me to a factory and when I arrived I was unceremoniously handed a broom and told to sweep the entire factory. I did that for eight hours, earning $8 for each of those hours.”
He continued: “Now, my pride left me feeling devastated. But something else happened that allowed me to reshape my mindset bit by bit. At the end of the day, I was able to put gas in the car and food on our table. I went to sleep exhausted, but I would wake up ready to take charge of my life.”
Held at the Petersen Automotive Museum, the ball honored UTA agent Chris Hart as well as Lionsgate’s Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane for their work with the organization which sets out to assist those experiencing homelessness by offering job placement services. But as Ike Barinholtz remarked, the event also marked another high note as Hollywood executives celebrated the end of the WGA Strike.
“I see a lot of folks in this room who are working with studios and streamers and I just would like to take this opportunity to apologize to you guys for picketing,” the “Blockers” star, who is also a member of the WGA, laughed. “It was just a joke, guys. In the coming weeks and months when I’m pitching you TV shows and movies, just remember that tonight. I apologize.”
The actor also appeared in the Lionsgate chiefs’ tribute video, which also featured appearances from Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Robert De Niro, as well as James Weaver (who hilariously used cutouts of his producing partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg).
“For the last 10 years, I’ve been supportive of organizations that focus on making lasting, generational change one individual at a time. Like everyone in this room, we want to support organizations that uplift hardworking people who need a boost to improve their own lives and circumstances that make it almost impossible to do so. Chrysalis is one of those extraordinary organizations. They devote all of their energy and resources to underserved communities filled with extraordinary people with potential who are stuck in systems filled with barriers that hold individuals down instead of lifting them up,” said Drake in his acceptance speech.
“Close your eyes, spin around, throw a dart and you would find a group of people who would give you a list of what’s not working without offering a single solution. What we should all be doing is asking a very simple question: what would you do together to solve a problem and lift our community? By being here tonight every one of you have answered that question,” Drake continued in closing.
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